When we were considering what to name our first child, whom we thought would be a girl, we briefly discussed the name Sophia. I like the name for what it means and also for the biblical (and possible Canaanite) imagery surrounding it. My wife, Tana, did not particularly like the name however. When I asked why, she responded that she could see kids teasing our future child, taunting with names like “Hagia Sophia, Hagia Sophia”.
After some time and some perspective, she withdrew her objections and we gave the name to our second child (although Tana does prefer the Sofia spelling).
In the moment, Tana did not stop to think about the implications of her fears. The likelihood of a schoolyard bully integrating the name of a cathedral in Byzantium into an insult is minimal. Tana simply didn’t like the name at the time and this was the reason that popped into her exceptionally well-educated head.
We often don’t see how our education, upbringing, religion, and other fact of life blind us. The comments to Ronan’s notes about his trip west show this. Of all the individual’s at the gathering who claimed “average mormondom”, all were raised in PhD households and were exceptionally well-read on all things Mormon. Nonetheless, they claimed to hold some insight into what the average, non-lawyer, non-academic member of the church understands about its background. I am not saying that they were wrong in making that assumption (heck, apparently seer stones are taught about in primary), but rather that we may mistake our over-education for the status quo. There really is no reason to suspect that the average member knows the name of the Hagia Sophia just as there is no reason to suspect that they are familiar with the limited-geography theory.
To what degree do the arcana discussed in this forum affect the lives of members at large? To what degree do we believe that our discussion of said arcana should? I, for one, am willing participate in a journal devoted to this issue, but is this out of a desire to help, to be educated, or to have my narcissism validated?
Is the bloggernacle really for everyone?